Im writting an essay on examples of growth in the book. How does she "grow" from being raped?
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I do not think anyone overcomes that sort of trauma rather than they can learn to deal with it. Although it would have been much better had Melinda not been raped in the first place, I think there is some healing and empowerment that takes place. Melinda chooses to do a report on suffragettes for extra credit in Mr. Neck's class. However, at the last minute, Mr. Neck informs Melinda that she must read her report in front of the entire class. Horrified at this prospect, Melinda devises a plan in which she likens herself to a suffragette and stands up for her right to not give speeches. In doing this, Anderson directly connects Melinda to the theme of female empowerment. More importantly, she distinguishes Melinda's behavior from those of strong female leaders. After Melinda receives a "D" on the report, David Petrakis says, "But you got it wrong. The suffragettes were all about speaking up, screaming for their rights. You can't speak up for your right to be silent. That's letting the bad guys win." Melinda's struggle to speak is a struggle to break free of female voicelessness, and to actually emulate these strong female role models, who gained a voice in politics for all women.